entertainment

Taron Egerton quits Cock due to 'personal reasons'

The Welsh actor's understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, will take over the role.

2022-04-02

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Matt Crockett

Taron Egerton has withdrawn from the West End revival of Cock due to "personal reasons", according to a statement posted on social media. 

The announcement came on Saturday (2 April) when it was also announced that the Welsh actor's, understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, would take over the role starring opposite Jonathan Bailey for the rest of the show's run.

Taron, 32, had previously fainted during the show's first preview and was forced to pull temporarily after testing positive for Covid-19.

"Joel is an absolute hero"

A statement posted to the play's Instagram page reads:  "JOEL HARPER-JACKSON WILL TAKE OVER THE ROLE OF M IN MIKE BARTLETT'S RAZOR SHARP, HILARIOUS PLAY COCK UNTIL THE END OF THE RUN."

It continues: "The part was originally played in this production by Taron Egerton, who has had to withdraw from the production due to personal reasons. Joel understudied the role and has been playing the part of M for the past ten days while Taron was absent from the production having tested positive for Covid."

The director, Marianne Elliott, is then quoted as saying:  "Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and stepped into the role at extremely short notice. Audiences have
been standing and cheering and so am l."

Jonathan Bailey adds: "Joel is an immense talent and we couldn't be luckier to have him on board. I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him."

 
 
 
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Cock sees Egerton and Bailey star as a couple whose relationship comes under strain when one of them begins a relationship with a woman (Jade Anouka). Phil Daniels rounds out the cast.

Written by Mike Bartlett, it was first staged in 2009 with Fleabag's Andrew Scott and This Is Going To Hurt's Ben Whishaw in the lead roles.

An official synopsis of the play reads: "In a world full of endless possibilities why must we still limit ourselves with labels?

Cock runs at the Ambassadors Theatre in London until 4 June. Tickets are available here.

Attitude's new-look March/April issue is out now.